Konyukova’s Watching the Russians is not just a merry ride across the everyday life in Russia. Full of self-irony, the book is a very practical guide from an insider perspective into the fundamental understanding of the country. Russians are no longer confined to Russian borders. Today, Russians are all over the world, as tourists on holidays, as colleagues in international companies and as fellow neighbors.
What forms the basis of our judgments – both positive and negative – and our prejudices? To answer that, Konyukova examines not only the culturally coded differences in all aspects of life, but also explores the chaotic store of emotions in various social settings surrounding the Russians. She is thus effortlessly able to refute common misconceptions and evoke understanding for the quirks of the Russians, all with a healthy dose of humor.
The intention of Konyukova’s book it neither to preach nor to convert, instead providing a cheeky but affectionate insight into the Russian soul that has always remained a bit of a mystery for an outside observer. In the end this does also make Konyukova’s book something of a traveler’s guide to humanity at large.
Maria Konyukova was born in Leningrad in 1972. She comes from a family of engineers and has also successfully completed studies at St. Petersburg’s Technical University. Thereafter, however, she began working as a freelance journalist for a number of Russian publications. She also lectures journalism at two universities and is the author of a textbook on journalism. Maria Konyukova lives in St. Petersburg.